When it comes to removing a tattoo, the most advanced laser system is only half the equation. Also important is the person who operates the laser and performs your treatment. Here at Winston-Salem Dermatology & Surgery Center, we have some of the most experienced health care providers of laser tattoo removal in the Carolinas.
The Winston Salem Dermatology & Surgery Center team has extensive experience with laser tattoo removal. This experience enables us to develop and customize a safe and effective treatment strategy that suits your goals – either for complete removal — or for lightening of an existing tattoo (so that you can cover it with more artwork).
Winston Salem Dermatology & Surgery Center has also worked with local tattoo artists and appreciates their referrals and trust.
FAQ’s about Laser Treatment for Tattoo Removal
What Is LASER
LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Today’s advanced laser technology allows us to safely and effectively treat tattoos on an out-patient basis.
How Does The Laser Remove The Tattoo?
Laser utilizes a process called ‘Selective Photothermolysis’. The word photothermolysis comes from three Greek root words: “photo” meaning light; “thermo” meaning heat; and “lysis” meaning destruction. Therefore, ‘Selective Photothermolysis’ refers to precise targeting of a structure by using specific wavelengths of light. The energy directed into the target produces sufficient heat to damage the target but allows the surrounding area to remain undamaged.
Lasers remove tattoos by using specific wavelengths of light (energy) which are absorbed by the tattoo-ink. This energy absorption breaks the tattoo ink into microscopic particles. These microscopic particles, over time, are slowly removed by the immune system’s macrophages (scavenger cells). More simply put: the laser safely obliterates the ink, and the body’s immune system safely removes the tattoo!
How Many Treatments Are Required To Remove A Tattoo?
This depends on factors such as: size, location, depth, multiple colors, and frequency of treatments. Remember, your tattoo was meant to be a permanent addition to your skin. Some tattoo ink may not respond fully to laser treatment. Treatments should be placed 8 to 12 weeks apart to allow your body to remove the previously treated ink particles. In between treatments, your body absorbs the fragmented ink and the tattoo fades. On average, a tattoo can be removed in 5 to 20 sessions depending on the factors mentioned above.
Please note: the removal of any tattoo is a slow process by which your body’s immune system does the work. It will take months for your body to do this work effectively. It is our goal to remove your tattoo in a medically sound and safe manner. We tailor each treatment session to minimize the risk of scarring and undesirable skin-pigment changes while maximizing your results.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?
Most patients say the treatments are similar to getting the tattoo. Stinging, like the snap of a rubber band on the skin can be expected. Post treatment sensations are similar to a mild feeling of sunburn. After treatment, the tattoo reacts similarly to when it was originally applied into the skin — punctate bleeding, scabbing, and soreness can be expected. Our staff will educate you on wound care. Most treatments do not require anesthetics, though some patients feel more comfortable with local numbing agents such as: ice, topical numbing cream and/or local anesthesia — which is injected under and around the treatment site.
What Results Can You Expect From The Laser Treatment?
Most patients start to see lightening of their tattoo after the first treatment. Sometimes the improvement is dramatic and sometimes it is subtle. Remember, it takes time for your immune system to absorb the treated ink. We urge you to be patient and to see the treatments through. We can take digital photos to measure your tattoo’s progress.
How Do I Get Started?
Call Winston-Salem Dermatology & Surgery Center at 336-774-8636 and schedule your consultation today. There is a nominal fee associated with the consultation. This consultation fee is applied toward your treatment if you decide to use our services. We look forward to working with you.